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6/4/2003

The tooth is out there

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:14 am

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I had my long-anticipated visit with the dentist on Monday. It didn’t take him long to determine that my broken tooth was my upper right wisdom tooth (my tongue swore it was the tooth next to it), and since I’m a Man of Very Little Jaw, it was best to take the tooth out rather than repair it. He also determined that my filling in a lower tooth had come loose (or something to that effect), compounding my pain. He referred me to an oral surgeon for the pulling and asked me to come back to get the lower tooth capped. I asked if they could do it right then, and after consulting the schedule they penciled me in for 45 minutes later. I’d never gotten a cap before, so I didn’t know what to expect. Basically, they saw off the top half of the tooth and glue on an artificial one. Since it was really mostly filling material they were carving off, it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’ve got a temporary one now and will return in a few weeks to get the permanent one attached. They say it’s being made in a laboratory somewhere to exactly match the part they cut away — I imagine by an under-employed sculptor.

When that was over, I called the surgeon and asked to get scheduled as soon as possible. An hour and a half later, I was in his chair, and half an hour later, I was short one tooth. It turns out that that particular tooth (Tooth One in dentist nomenclature) is by far the easiest to pull. I hardly felt a thing as he reached in there with what I assume was a pair of needle-nose pliers.

There’s some discomfort as the tooth and gums get over the shock of being manhandled, but it’s nothing compared to the keep-me-awake-at-night sensations I experienced prior. Now I only need to figure out where the $800 I had to pay will come from.